And why you need professional pest control for both

While you don’t want any pest causing damage to your home, when you see signs of termite or carpenter ant damage, you might panic with good reason. Both of these pests can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home or business, so figuring out which one is creating an issue is crucial. While they are different creatures, they both damage wood. Let’s take a look at how you can tell the difference between termite and carpenter ant damage and what to do if you think you have an infestation.

Common Types of Termites

Many people assume that if they spot wood damage, the cause must be termites. However, often, property owners don’t actually know they have termites until they go to sell the property or something catastrophic happens. There are a variety of termites that can cause damage to your home or business, including subterranean termites and drywood termites. 

Subterranean Termites

These underground pests make their way into your home for food. They dwell in moist underground tunnels and seek sustenance, in the form of wood, in your home or business. You may not even realize they’re there until significant damage has already been done. Signs of subterranean termite damage include bubbled paint, sagging ceilings, swollen floors, or a musty smell. 

Drywood Termites

Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites actually live inside the wood they consume. These pests tunnel their way into wooden structures by devouring the substance and then eating and eating along. They can typically be found inside furniture or walls and you may not see any signs of damage until the entire piece or structure is compromised. You may see bubbling paint or cracked veneer and discover that you have a drywood termite infestation. 

What Does Carpenter Ant Damage Look Like

Damage from carpenter ants can be very hard to spot with the naked eye. These pests tend to leave tiny openings on the surface of wood where they expel debris. This debris can be comprised of materials like sawdust, insect body parts, or insulation. If you find an accumulation of this debris, that’s a good sign that you have a carpenter ant infestation and likely a decent amount of damage within. It should be noted that carpenter ants often target wood that has been softened by moisture or fungus. Keeping an eye out for rotting wood or moisture issues around your property can help prevent a carpenter ant infestation.

Tips for Carpenter Ant and Termite Prevention

While determining whether you have carpenter ants or termites can be challenging, doing your part to prevent them from infesting your home or business in the first place gives you some control. It’s no secret that both these pests like wood, whether they eat it or simply tunnel their way through it. 

How to Prevent Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants seek the same things other species of ants do: water, food, and shelter. That means a few simple things can help to prevent an infestation of carpenter ants.

  • Treat and replace rotten or wet wood.
  • Keep food in airtight containers and clean up spills quickly.
  • Trim trees and bushes away from the structure.
  • Seal cracks, crevices, or other entry points into the home or business.

How to Prevent Termites

It’s important to be proactive when it comes to termites since they often work in secret. Things like buried bait stations can prevent termites in your house or business by attracting them away from it. Other things to do to help prevent a termite infestation include:

  • Storing wood away from the home. 
  • Keeping the foundation of your property dry.
  • Reduce moisture in crawl spaces and underground areas.

While prevention is the best course of action, pests often still find a way of bypassing our best-laid plans. If you do find yourself with a carpenter ant or termite infestation, contact the professionals right away. The experts at Sandwich Isle can even devise a prevention plan to help you avoid an issue completely. If you’re interested in professional prevention or need an immediate evaluation and action plan for an active infestation, contact us today to find out more about our comprehensive pest control services.